Black Dog Serenade

One of the constant nightmares of living amongst FullBlooded Americans is the need to keep them in sight at all times. But due to circumstances out of my control, I’ve been forced to classify any area outside of my household as a warzone of adverse indisposition.

Yesterday was the perfect blend of warm sun and autumn briskness that only the Midwest can bring forth. I went to the only non-corporationfartwater coffee shop in walking distance to get a mocha-latte-bullshitorwhatever and sit in a comfy overstuffed chair creased by many bottoms in the far corner of the shop to skim through some of the newspapers. The typical doom&gloom, ‘female celebrity has the audacity to show her ankles’, ‘young child does something adorable yet mundane’ fare, nothing interesting. You could hand me a newspaper from three decades ago and whiteout the dates and I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

Somewhere over my shoulder I heard someone cough loudly and clear their throat a few times, and repeated a few moments later. I turned around and didn’t see who had coughed but saw a portly man waiting in the checkout line with massive sweat stains seeping through a short sleeved button up, with a skipped button in the middle that seemed impossible to conceive that someone could miss, glaring at a Sikh man sitting a few tables away from me. The Sikh Man sneezed suddenly, not having the time to react properly and spraying his nose residue throughout the air.

“What the fuck, man?” The Sweaty Man screamed from the other side of the room. Everyone in the shop looked up in shock. The Sikh Man looked at him and started to wipe his nose off on his sleeve. “Keep that ebola shit to yourself.”

There were audible gasps throughout the shop. The Sikh Man looked uncomfortable and mumbled what was probably an apology under his breath as walked up to the counter to grab napkins. The Sweaty Man dramatically took a step back as he approached.

“Dude, what did I just say? Keep that to yourself! Why don’t you use that rag on your head to clean up?”

A hush fell over the shop. I could hear a mouse pissing on cotton from the storage room.

The Sweaty Man continued making noise with his mouth that made as much sense as a Louie Gohmert dissertation, while the Sikh Man attempted to smooth things over in a thick accent, that didn’t help the situation. It’s hard to say if the other customers agreed with The Sweaty Man or just wanted to stay out of it. Either way, the vibes were getting progressively uglier and I didn’t leave my sanctuary for this.

“What is ebola exactly?” I asked, turning in my chair to face The Sweaty Man and crossing my legs.

He stopped mid sentence and looked at me as if I had just asked the most ridiculous question of all time, opened his mouth to speak and then closed it, seeming to think about the question. “Don’t be stupid. You know what it is! It’ll kill us all!” He pointed at The Sikh Man. “Especially if this fool doesn’t be more careful! He should be quarantined.”

Now I don’t know what kind of thought process it takes to hear someone cough and sneeze and have their mind immediately jump to “Oh my god, that guy has a deadly virus that’s going to end the world” and perhaps it’s best that I don’t. I don’t even remember what I said in response. Maybe I didn’t say anything. I just remember looking back down at the newspapers spread across the table, all with multiple “EBOLA CRISIS” headlines, and laughing. Laughing like I was watching an old rerun of Seinfeld.

This act of nonchalantness must have made him lose control of himself-possibly the first time in his privileged life that someone didn’t take him seriously- as he raced towards where I was sitting snarling wildly, practically foaming at the mouth: “HOW DARE YOU LAUGH AT ME, YOU ARROGANT LITTLE PANSY! LOOK AT ME. DO YOU SEE SOMEBODY YOU WANT TO MESS WITH?!”

His wrinkly outie belly button was a mere inch away from my face.

“I’ve seen about all I want to see, thanks.”

He backed away with a smug smile. “I’m glad you see it my way. I didn’t want to have to hurt you.”

“You should always trust your gut.” I said as I stood up and put the newspapers back on the rack.

So, there is indeed a quarantine in effect. But it’s not a physical disease I fear.

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Shade

An underlying
Stink of rot lingers within
your sweet aftershave

Eyes that once shined bright
like a fluorescent lightbulb
Now mere hollow chasms

Spider veins travel
from your brow down to Yellow
Tinted fingertips

Your heavy whiskey
breath knocks me out and I dream
Of the man you were

Questions I Don’t Have The Answers To

Wouldn’t wherever we end up be our destination, even if we didn’t understand the purpose?
Moreover, if there isn’t a purpose, does that make the destination any less valid and is it necessary that we know?

Do you reject the concept of God or a higher power solely due to past experiences with prejudices and long lists of inexplicable historical (& present) injustices and atrocities, or can you just not accept the idea that something may be bigger & more important than you?

Is home the place we run to or away from?

Is it possible to “sell out” your beliefs in order to live a healthy life while still living authentically?

What would a fish with bad posture look like?

If you ran into your doppelganger, a being that looked and acted exactly like you, would you recognize them?

Is fear really one of our most primal emotions or is it just so ingrained into our society that we can’t tell the difference?

Please write your responses in complete sentences and show your work.

…..but I don’t have a #2 pencil.

These Long, Long Legs

Let me tell you somethin’ about these legs
These legs have traversed over many lands
in search of a resting place

Hip bone connected to the thigh bone
thigh bone connected to the knee bone
knee bone connected to the ankle bone
I get so hung up on bones
That creak and crackle
step by step
day in & day out

These legs have been twisted in slipknots & ties
pried open to claim the prize
that sparkle like diamonds between my thighs
Sweet like nougat
hardened chocolate crunch coat
stumps whittled into figurines
that dance like music box dolls

These legs need bronzed
by the warmth of the sun
Wind to rustle through the
fine bristly black hairs
blowing ash from the crease
of skin folds

These legs never lose stride
moving calloused toes through ruff terrain
Artificial limbs sensing no finish line is near
Yet
These legs stride forever forward
Growing longer and longer
day in & day out

deadBoy

“Thanks for picking me up,” he said, climbing into the passenger seat.

I said it was no problem. I watched him from the corner of my eye as we made our way down the barren road, there was no traffic. He leaned the seat back as far as it could go and was looking out the window, chewing on his thumbnail. I could tell he was young but couldn’t pinpoint his age.

I asked why he was out so late.

“Probably the same reason as you. I just had to get the hell out of the house for a while.”

I could understand that. And from the looks of his washedout complexion, it didn’t look like he got out much. His v-neck tshirt was ripped at the shoulder and his basketball shorts barely reached the top of his knees. I asked if he’d like to wear a sweater I kept in the backseat as the frosty October winds were making it very clear that summer was long over. He didn’t answer and gave no indication that he heard me. I still had not gotten a good look at his face, as he kept staring out the window and chomping on his nails.

We drove in relative silence while he occasionally pointed out directions when he sighed suddenly.

“Ya know, I had a crazy dream last night,” he said in a small tinny voice. “All of my teeth were falling out. They’d itch for a moment and I’d grab ’em with two fingers and they’d wobble. They’d slip out easy when I pulled, no pain, and I didn’t even flinch. And I just kept doing that one by one until my gums were bare.”

I said that sounded like an intense nightmare.

“I just remember thinking… how am I going to bite into an apple now? They keep the doctors away and I don’t trust them as far as I can long jump. How am I supposed to live if I can’t eat apples?”

I suggested baby food. A light laugh escaped from his lips and he quickly closed his mouth and furrowed his brow as if flustered, like a preteen who’s voice just cracked. He looked in my direction, only for a moment, but I still couldn’t quite make out his facial features, as if his face had a light onceover with the Photoshop Blur tool.

“Heh, that’s pretty funny…could have used your thought process then.”

I asked what happened next.

“Nothing. I woke up.”

I made the final turn down a street he pointed out and he told me the house number. I felt a twinge of familiarity while driving down the neighborhood but it didn’t fully hit me until I pulled into the driveway.

I had lived here for a few years long ago with my father and new family after he had remarried but left when things started getting complicated. The lawn was unkempt, a FOR SALE sign on the front door, and it was obvious no had lived here for quite some time.

I turned to the boy to ask what was going on
but he wasn’t there.

Tomorrow Belongs To ME

O Fatherland
Fatherland, show me a sign
This child has waited to see

In the darkest nights I close my eyes & I can feel the full volume of the room that surrounds me. Perhaps it’s because when you lose one sense, the other senses grow stronger. Or it’s another scientific mumbojumbo that only makes sense to those that actually take the time to research the matters. Nevertheless. These surroundings are foreign, though I’ve spent my entire life dwelling within them.

The future is an illusion that we project our fantasies onto. The truth is, there is no future. Only the present and the past. But with time, the past becomes a distorted illusion as well. Did it ever really happen? Does it matter? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

The only thing that ever matters is what you’re doing right now. Right now I’m writing this blog post. But does it matter? How many people will read it? How many people will care that I’m writing this? Maybe you’re reading this now. One of many tabs open. One of 9 tabs, 8 of them porn. Or you’re just scrolling down the WordPress Reader trying to find something interesting to read. Maybe you’ll like this, maybe you won’t.

It doesn’t matter, it’s not real.

I’ve said that phrase many times one historic night when I was twisted out of my mind. What makes something real? Is it being able to point to physical proof and saying, “there. that’s it.” Or maybe it’s more. Anti Drug propaganda often paints a picture of a person under the influence of LSD imagining that they’re being eaten by dogs and they die because they believe it’s really happening.

Maybe that’s why we love ghosts stories. (IN)sanity vs Reality is a time tested pot of gold. Are they being haunted by a real unholy presence or is that presence their own projection of their subconscious mind? It’s easier to blame a demon or a tortured soul in possession of a creepy looking doll.

Tomorrow. The Future. My eyes force out a salty discharge at the thought of what may happen and my lips dance skyward. I have seen the future and it will be……. I don’t know. And you don’t either. But it’s nice to have fantasies. They keep the dream alive though a dreamer alone can’t make a dream come true. The phrase is “Make your dreams come true”, not just “Dream”. That makes no sense.

Mindfulness is the practice of staying in the moment but when the present moment leaves a lot to be desired, one can not be blamed for having a romanticized vision of the future. But the future doesn’t exist.

but in time

The Morning Will Come
when the world is mine

and then
Tomorrow belongs
TO ME